Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wednesday in the 1st Week of Advent
The Stimulation of Sunshine

Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10a; Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Matthew 15:29-37

Although its atmosphere is quite distinct from the rigor of Lent, the season of Advent does still require a certain degree of commitment and sense of purpose from us if we are to experience its fruit. As we have been saying, this is a time to prepare diligently for the coming of the Lord, so that we might be led by him to enter and remain in our Father’s house. Yet, isn’t it true that we can often allow the season to quickly pass us by as yet another missed opportunity to experience God in a deeper, more intimate way? Perhaps what we need is to find and foster within ourselves the appropriate dispositions that can move us to action. I’m reminded of the following well-known fable of Aesop’s.

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on. (Taken from here.)

Like the fable, our readings today invite us to meditate upon at least three attitudes, three rays of sunshine, that can warm up our hearts enough to move us to take off our cloaks of apathy and complacency and enter more seriously into the spirit of Advent.

The first disposition is implied in these words from the first reading: this is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us! What moves the people to rejoice is their recognition of the coming of the One for whom they looked. Their deep yearning is indeed fulfilled, but only after they had first yearned, only after they had first looked. For what or whom are we looking or yearning this Advent?

Then, in the second reading, we find people glorifying God because they are moved with amazement at the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see… What are the events around us that can move us with amazement in the same way this Advent?

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, we find the motivation of motivations. In the gospel, Jesus performs a miraculous feeding because his heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat… And we might add that Jesus’ very presence and ministry is itself the expression of the very compassion of God for us. What people or situations do we see around us that can move our own hearts with compassion this Advent?

Today, how is Christ, the Eternal Sun, shining upon us, warming our hearts, stimulating us to action?

No comments:

Post a Comment